THE Beckhams have been granted planning permission to build a log store at their £6 million home in Oxfordshire – despite fears over its environmental impact.

West Oxfordshire Distrcit Council (WODC) gave the green light to David and Victoria Beckham adding the dry wood store to their Cotswolds home, even though the celebrity duo were accused of ‘flying in the face’ of the Government’s Clean Air Strategy.

The accusation was made by an objector who claimed the Beckhams should be relying on more eco-friendly methods of heating, such as an electric heat pump.

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The objection from a member of the public read: “I object to this application as it is a log store to keep wood to be burned dry.

“This flies in the face of the Government’s Clean Air Strategy.”

The plans for Maplewood Barn, near Great Tew, were however granted permission by WODC.

In response to the concern, the planning officer wrote: “Officers do not consider that given the scale of the proposed log store, it would not result in any material increase in carbon emissions.

“The principle of development is established and the proposed design changes will result in no material impact with regard to neighbourly amenity, highways, ecology or drainage.

“The proposed design changes as described echo the forms and materials of the approved structure and would therefore appear in keeping with the character of the site.

“The changes are considered minor in nature and would be barely perceptible from off-site meaning the wider visual appreciation of the proposed changes would be negligible.”

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The Beckhams were recently granted planning permission to build an outhouse at the Grade II listed country house.

Permission for the previous plans was granted on the condition the building, which will be used as an office and vehicle storage space, was designed to provide an ‘attractive environment for nesting birds and bats’.

The fresh application was made in April to vary a condition on the existing permission and is still under consideration by the council.

The original planning application was given the green light as long as the celebrity couple look after the existing wildlife there.

Planners said: “Before the erection of any external walls, details of the provision of at least one integrated bat box and at least one integrated bird box within the walls of the new building shall be submitted to the local planning authority for approval.”

The Beckhams must also ‘ensure that bats, birds, badgers, hedgehogs, reptiles and amphibians are protected in accordance with The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.’

They are also prohibited from installing any outdoor fixtures which ‘would directly illuminate the bat box or the hedgerow without prior approval to protect roosting, foraging or community bats’.

The Cotswolds mansion, which is estimated to be worth around £6.15 million, has been renovated a number of times over the past few years.

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This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

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